Automation is no more a differentiating factor, but has become a necessity in making customer service a success. One of the most common tools to achieve that is through an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System. An IVR is an inbound solution to enable the customers to reach out to the organization for support, amongst other services. The customers can use the dial pad or get help through speech recognition.
A sophisticated IVR reduces costs and gains productivity by automating the customer interactions using prompts. These can be pre-recorded or can be programmed in such a way to transfer the call to live agents. Even though having an efficient IVR solution in place has multi-fold advantages for the businesses, we will try to focus on the top seven of them.
#1 Personalized Customer Interactions
Just because you are using a machine to serve the customers, it does not mean that you have to lose out on the “personal” touch. Set-up a personalized greeting or a prompt to seamlessly transfer the call to a live agent when the customer requires detailed information.
#2 Automation of Operations
Free your agents from dealing with mundane activities. Automate the customer service by allowing the customers to self-serve and obtain the right information to solve their issues. This enables the call center agents to prioritize the customers and serve them in a more efficient manner.
#3 Increase Inbound Call Capacity
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) solutions enable the business to handle higher call volumes. The inbound calls are efficiently routed to the agent or department which is best equipped to handle the said issue. Even if the customer has to sometimes wait in the queue, the waiting time is comparatively shorter than in the cases where the IVRs are not being used.
#4 Easy on the Pocket
With an IVR system, the businesses can eliminate an intermediary customer support agent or receptionist who was tasked with the job to route the calls to the right person - reducing human error. Moreover, deploying an IVR solution is easy to scale-up without any significant increase in the cost. Thus, IVRs are a cost-effective way of improving operational efficiency and agent productivity along with achieving high ROI.
#5 First Call Resolution
An IVR solution with its intelligent routing features ensures that the customers connect with the most capable agent in the first attempt. By reducing the time taken to confer with various agents or passing the call around, the customer query can be resolved faster with minimum waiting time and thus, lead to higher customer satisfaction.
#6 Professionalize Your Calls
Greet the customers in a professional way. Make the greeting personalized yet professional to improve customer engagement along with directing the customers to the right agent/department. Do not lose out on any customers even during non-business hours. Set-up a pre-recorded message to be played during the holiday season. Thus, informing the customers about the unavailability of the support team. Doing this will help the customers to know when to contact you rather than keep trying to reach out and not getting through. Which might hamper the reputation of the organization.
#7 Increase Customer Satisfaction
If the customer is able to get a satisfactory answer to their query in the first attempt itself, this will not just leaves a good first impression but will also help in building a relationship with the customer. The longer the customer has to wait or is passed around to multiple agents, the more aggravated the situation becomes. Since, with an IVR, the customers are able to solve their queries on their own, it makes them feel more independent and empowered and thus, makes them more satisfied.
We know that IVR systems account for a significant portion of the call experiences today. Even the Fortune 500 companies are using IVR software optimization techniques to boost their business. However, there are still many organizations who are yet to integrate IVR software with their existing Inbound solution. Now that you know the many benefits of having an IVR system, it will become even more clear that, to be a leader in the customer service and experience domain, the businesses need to deploy an IVR system sooner rather than later. After all, it's a necessity to transform your contact centers into customer engagement centers.